My Beloved Son by Helen Freeman

That instant, a vision triggers off in my head
of your fingers round a sawn-off
shotgun, eyes like stray bullets
frozen inwards, I
know what  you were doing.

I imagine all the other parents sobbing
frantic pleas for protection from
you, the monster I had made,
forged from steel, iron
willed.  Were you born to kill?

After your feed, I would hug you close to my neck
and breathe in the scent of fresh bread,
your whole hand entwined around
my thumb.  How could I
not know?  Why couldn’t you

tell me?  Now I’m the pariah, the psychopath
pelted with ketchup-soaked tampons.
Your room is just the same, clean,
made-up.  I’ve set out
brownies for you.  Come soon.

Version 2

Helen Freeman published a collection of poems, Broken, in the recovery time following a severe road traffic accident in Oman. Since then she has completed several online poetry courses including ModPo and the Poetry School. A Third Culture Kid brought up in Kenya, she now lives in both Edinburgh and Riyadh.



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